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Sunday, October 7, 2012
Messi, Ronaldo share spoils in Clasico

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo matched each other blow for blow at the Nou Camp, bagging two goals apiece as Barcelona and Real Madrid battled out an entertaining 2-2 draw in the first Clasico of the Primera Division season.

• Graham Hunter: Clasico honours shared
• Blog: 'What ifs' for Madrid
• Blog: Golden Messi ensures point
• La Liga: Saturday review

Tito Vilanova's Barca headed into the game eight points clear of their arch rivals and boasting a 100% record from their first six matches, but found themselves trailing midway through the first half when Ronaldo netted for the sixth straight Clasico.

But Messi equalised with a scrappy goal soon after and then put the hosts ahead with a stunning free-kick on the hour, only for Ronaldo to capitalise on sloppy defending midway through the second half to ensure honours ended even.

The result allowed Atletico Madrid to move level with the Catalan giants at the summit of La Liga, thanks to a 2-1 win over Malaga in the late kick-off.

Los Rojiblancos required a last-gasp own goal from Weligton to pick up the three points at the Vicente Calderon after on-loan Manchester City striker Roque Santa Cruz had cancelled out Falcao's early opener.

Elsewhere, a superb Obafemi Martins strike proved the difference as Levante defeated city rivals Valencia 1-0 in the early kick-off.

Martins scored the only goal of the match midway through the opening half, controlling his goalkeeper's long boot downfield before powering the ball home high into the net.

Granada secured their first away win of the season, second-half goals from Youssef Al-Arabi and Gabriel Torje handing them a 2-1 triumph at Real Mallorca.

There was little to choose between the sides for the first hour, but the turning point came with 25 minutes to go when Emilio Nsue was shown a red card for bringing down Torje as he sped into the area and El-Arabi tucked away the resulting spot-kick.

The visitors' numerical advantage only lasted for two minutes as Yacine Brahimi was shown a second yellow card, but Torje doubled their advantage with a cool finish from El-Arabi's scooped pass before Tomer Hemed headed home a late consolation.

Finally, Aritz Aduriz's early goal earned Athletic Bilbao a much-needed 1-0 win at home to fellow strugglers Osasuna.

The striker guided the ball home from inside the area to give last season's Europa League runners-up their second league win of the campaign.




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